GREENFIELD — Tracy Neal, who owns Four Sharp Corners in Greenfield explained how the shop got its name: After that all-important, mint condition sharp untouched corner collectors look for when determining value in trading cards.
“So you’re looking for any card that has four sharp corners. So in 1989 when I first opened the store on the east side of the courthouse that was the name I came up with, Four Sharp Corners,” Neal said.
Neal has been in business for 32 years, and at his current location for six. At his shop, he sells baseball cards, basketball cards, other sports cards, non-sports collectible cards, and coins.
For the last several months he has been spending the first hour of his day packing eBay shipments averaging 10 to 20 sales a day. Neal ships worldwide.
Neal said over the last year items have been flying off of his shelves.
“It’s crazy. New boxes are selling for two to 10 times what they would’ve sold for a year ago. Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Jordan, and basketball prices are crazy,” Neal said.
He’s also sold everything that was in his showcase in the past 12 months. The veteran card seller said this is unlike any other time that cards have gained popularity.
“Late 80s and early 90s things were crazy, but not like this,” Neal said. “Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, UFC, Pokémon, doesn’t matter. If it’s in a package or a box they want to open it.”
Because of this, Neal said he’s having a hard time keeping his store stocked up.
“Whatever we get sells, I’m selling products I’ve never sold before. Paying two to three times what we normally pay for items, Never seen anything like it. Way crazier than even Pokémon was in 1999,” he said.
Even non-sports cards are selling very well. "Pokémon stuff, especially the original stuff is on fire as well…boxes that I used to sell for $89.99 are anywhere from $389 or more now,” Neal said.
The small business owner was shocked this business boom could happen during this time.
“No, nobody could’ve guessed this especially after the lockdown I thought it would be the exact opposite,” he said.
Neal believes the pandemic had a lot to do with the sudden interest.
“People were sitting at home, nothing to do, they drug their cards out. It made a lot of people feel better about things I think when they were sitting at home with nothing to do," he said. "They remember when they were younger collecting cards and they kind of got back into it and then they saw some of the crazy prices people were getting for things and it was kind of like a snowball."
If you are interested in getting into card collecting now while it's hot, Neal’s advice is to buy what you like. “Collect what you like. Don’t chase the dollar. Don’t buy the newest stuff. If you like football buy football…if you like basketball buy basketball.”